The Seven Statements Jesus Made from the Cross
In incredible agony, Jesus made seven statements from the cross:
“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.”
In Luke 23:34, Jesus made this statement following the people’s comment in Matthew 27:42, “He saved others; Himself He cannot save.”
“Today you will be with Me in Paradise.”
Found in Luke 23:43, Jesus uttered these hopeful words in response to the one thief beside Him who had come to his senses and asked Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your Kingdom” (Luke 23:42).
“Woman, behold your son…[Son,] behold your mother.”
Jesus spoke these endearing words in John 19:26–27 to two of the closest people in His life: His mother, Mary, and His disciple John. Even in death, He refused to think only of Himself.
At this point, Scripture records that there was “darkness over all the land” (Matthew 27:45). The Greek word for “land” could be translated “earth,” indicating the entire world. Several historical and extra-biblical sources suggest that such a universal darkness did occur. In fact, history relates that in a report from Pilate to Emperor Tiberius, Pilate assumes the Emperor’s knowledge of a certain widespread darkness, even mentioning that it took place from 12:00 to 3:00 in the afternoon.
“My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”
These words are found in Matthew 27:46. The horrifying presence of sin surrounded Jesus at this dreaded moment: “And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:6). To be forsaken of God was much more of a source of anguish to Jesus than to anyone else because He was absolutely holy. Never for one moment during His entire earthly life did He ever step outside of intimate fellowship with His Father. Yet, this was something the Father had to do in the life of the Son so that we could come back into the relationship He desired to have with us from the beginning—the relationship that had been forfeited back in the Garden.
Scripture repeatedly speaks of this moment:
- “He shall bear their iniquities” (Isaiah 53:11).
- “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21).
- “[He] Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree…” (1 Peter 2:24).
Imagine for a moment how hard this must have been for the Father. He loved His Son! Jesus never had a thought that was out of harmony with the Father’s mind. His Son never spent a moment out of His conscious presence. He had never committed one sin!
We are given a glimpse of this kind of sacrifice when God told Abraham, “Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love…and offer him there as a burnt offering [to Me]” (Genesis 22:2).
We don’t know what was said between Abraham and Isaac in those final moments before Abraham raised the knife over his son. Nor do we know the details of what happened over those three hours when Jesus took the sin of the world upon Himself.
Abraham took the knife in his hand, but was stopped in a last-minute reprieve. God the Father, however, did not stop at the last moment. God Himself took the great knife of His own fierce wrath against sin and brought it upon His Son.
Why did this have to happen? Jesus had to go through this ordeal because of the unscalable wall between God and man. God in all His holiness could not look at sin: “[He is] of purer eyes than to behold evil, and cannot look on wickedness.” (Habakkuk 1:13). As a result, man, in all his wickedness, could not look at God. So the holy Father had to turn His face and pour His wrath upon His own Son. This was the greatest sacrifice Jesus could have possibly made, yet He had to feel forsaken of God because that is the necessary consequence of sin.
In John 19:28, Jesus said, “I thirst!” In saying this, Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament prophecy, “They also gave me gall for my food, and for my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink” (Psalm 69:21).
“It is finished!”
In John 19:30, we find this “battle cry of the cross.” Never again would He experience pain or be in the hands of Satan. Never again would He, even for a moment, be forsaken of God. He had completed what He had been sent to do (John 5:36; John 17:4).
The word finished is translated in many ways…
- It is made an end of.
- It is paid.
- It is performed.
- It is accomplished.
What was made an end of? Our sins and the guilt that accompanied them.
What was paid? The price of redemption.
What was performed? The righteous requirements of the law.
What was accomplished? The work the Father had given Jesus to do.
Finished was Satan’s stronghold on humanity. “He has made [you] alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it” (Colossians 2:13–14).
“Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit.”
These final words (see Luke 23:46) signified the restoration of the relationship between the Father and the Son, but they also ushered in the new relationship we can now have with the Father. Immediately the veil in the temple, a visible reminder of the barrier between God and man, was torn in two (Matthew 27:51). In essence, God was saying, “Through the death of my Son, you now have total access into My presence” (see Hebrews 10:19).
What kept Jesus going when His disciples deserted Him, when the crowds screamed “Crucify Him!”, when He underwent the horrible ordeal of taking on all of the sins of the world? You did! Paul said, “[He] loved me and gave Himself for me…” (Galatians 2:20).